Lake Michigan, Itty Bitty Bikinis, My worth, God’s Love

wpid-wp-1438743214619.jpg Last night my family took a spontaneous trip to The Big Lake. Lake Michigan. My happy place.

My husband was bobbing in the waves with two out of three kids and I was on the beach with the third. He was burying his feet in sand and finding pretty rocks for me.

Then they came and put their beach blankets on the sand right next to us. If you’re a woman, you know who they are.

They are the women in the itty bitty bikinis. They are the ones who look like they were just photographed in those itty bitty bikinis with little to no photoshop help (because they don’t happen to have cellulite or tan lines or stretch marks). And they are the ones that make me go to that place in my mind.

If you’re a woman, you know what that place is.

It’s where you question your worth because you’d look so very not flawless in a bikini, let alone a poncho. It’s where you get annoyed because you’ve been eating spinach WITHOUT ranch for months and bending in squats until your legs go numb for weeks and you managed somehow to gain weight. It’s where you feel either invisible or far too visible or a combination of both (I know, it doesn’t make sense unless you’ve lived it).

They made me go to that place.

Well, that was what I thought. For a minute.

The next minute I decided that I was done with that place.

For the very first time in my 37 1/2 years of life I told that inner voice to shut it.

Those ladies didn’t make me think those terrible things about myself. They didn’t say a word to me. In fact, they were too busy enjoying the beach to pay me any mind. I am the one who allowed those thoughts. I said mean things to me.

I decided that I wasn’t going to waste my evening. I was going to enjoy my time. I was going to laugh with my kids and admire the husband who loves me (and who doesn’t EVER make me feel badly about my cellulite or stretch marks and who loves me dearly).

I hushed the lies.

And I told myself something true.

My worth is not the size of my waist or the way my body is shaped. My worth is not in my ability to wear a bikini. My worth is not in how perfectly bronzed my skin is (good thing because I turn into a lobster in the sun).

This body is not my worth.

And those women in their itty bitty bikinis? Their worth is not their bodies, either.

My worth, their worth, YOUR worth is in who made you. Who saved you. Who loves you.

There I stood, on the soft sand, the bikini ladies nearby and I felt a confidence I don’t know that I’ve ever had.

There on the shore of Lake Michigan I enjoyed the enormity of God’s love.

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29 thoughts on “Lake Michigan, Itty Bitty Bikinis, My worth, God’s Love

    • You know, Lisa, this is the first summer in a decade or more that I’ve worn shorts for the majority of the time. And I’ve worn a swimsuit. I feel like God is really stretching me in the ways I see life. I don’t want to waste the time I have being ashamed of my body.

      Oh, Lake Michigan. I’m sure God is extra pleased with how that piece of Creation turned out.

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  1. Man oh man, have I gone to that place many times in my life! I totally resonate with that, Susie! And I love how you told that inner voice to shut it. Cheers to that. And cheers to listening instead to the voice of truth – the enormity of God’s love for us. You’re a gift, Susie!

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      • Living less than a mile from the Big Lake I am there alot. I could say that I’m sorry for being one of those ladies in the bikini. Yes I am 53, grandma of many and I still where a bikini. I have always been thin and still am. When at the beach, I don’t notice what others are wearing. Just be proud of who you are, how awesome you look and enjoy the waves. We really need to learn how to shut that Lil voice up in our minds.

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      • I think it’s great that you wear what’s comfortable at the beach! Grandmas in bikinis are cool by me. 🙂 The only thing is that I envy you living so close to the lake! How wonderful for you!

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  2. oh how I love this! Telling that voice to shut it! I do believe next time I catch myself talking mean to myself again (well, in like you know, 2.5 seconds) I’m gonna practice telling it to shut it! It’s amazing that I would never talk to anyone else the way I talk to myself.

    It should be enough that God made me and He loves me right where I am! hmm .. I think I should be loved at Lake Michigan, too 🙂

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  3. Thank you! Such an awesome post. I have listened to that voice inside my head as well…… way too many times. Good-bye bikini-wanna-be! Let me know who I am in Christ and move forward, enjoying my life and living for Him.

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  4. That voice has plagued me for 67 years! Don’t you think that by now I could get past it? Your words just may have changed my life. I deserve the right to feel good about myself. After all, God made each and every one of us in His image. Then He sent His only son to die for my sins! What more could I ask for?

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  5. Oh, that was awesome! Every word of it. I could just see you standing on that beach, reveling in the beautiful sense of your true worth and God’s love, lighting up the shores of Lake Michigan!.☺

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  6. Susie, I loved this so much. Your line- “Then I told myself something true” was oh-so-powerful, and life-giving! We all need to do this! Truth-telling! To ourselves! Preach! And measuring ourselves by our Savior’s love for us… ah….does it get any better than that? Thank you, dear friend. I love you.

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    • Oh man. I am gobsmacked by the response to this little post. I feel like God used these words to lift up His daughters. I can’t claim it. He’s done a pretty amazing thing here.

      I love you, too, Jocelyn!

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  7. And there you went all ham on them and gave them such a sand kicking?

    Sorry – I’ll go read this again, and try to actually let the wonderful message penetrate my noggin.

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  8. I can soooo relate to these feelings, but I am most happy to admit that I also have been able to silence those condemning voices in my head. Those ones that attempt to convince me that I am somehow not worthy if I don’t look good in a swimsuit. But the problem is that I have suffered most of my life with a distorted self imagine, so even when I did look good in a bikini I would have never believed it. Praise God that I am now defined by who He says I am and not what those lies try to get me to believe.

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this post, many women can relate to this and need to hear that their worth, value and importance doesn’t come wrapped in an “itty bitty bikini” but that they were bought with the blood of Christ.
    God Bless <

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  9. Susie, this is me too. Kind of an ongoing battle. I am so using your line to my inner voice the next time this happens. I love how gently you pointed out we tell ourselves these lies – no one is telling them to us – we’re empowered to reclaim our thoughts! And uncover the worth we already have. (Although I’m still not uncovering my body in a bikini!)

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